The way Tom Sawyer weaseled his way out of whitewashing Aunt Polly's fence was pure genius. My admiration for the kid grows every time we have to paint our fence. That would be the white picket fence that was so charming when we bought this house years ago and had no idea what lower back pain maintaining charm would require.
Sweat is dripping down my face, my paintbrush hand is cramping and I just flicked paint into my right eye.
It's like that age-old question, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there, does it still make a sound? If a painter sweats in the heat and humidity and nobody is there, does the painter still complain?
This painting job went a lot faster when the kids were home and we paid them 25 cents a picket. We told them we'd pay them again if they'd come help paint, but a quarter doesn't excite them like it used to.
Tom Sawyer didn't pay anybody to paint. He didn't even offer a bribe. It was an all-out con. Tom persuaded his friends they were privileged to do the work, talked one of them out of a prized marble, and then took the day off. If ever a young man was on the fast track to management, it was Tom.
Of course, that same scenario would have a different twist today. Why? Because today Tom would have a cell phone. He would message every person in his contact list and generate a flash mob to do the painting.
Technology would change a lot of the classics.
Red Riding Hood wouldn't stop to talk to the wolf because Red wouldn't be allowed to walk alone. Today if Red wanted to go somewhere, her mother would drive her. Besides, the kid wouldn't take homemade food in a picnic basket to Grandma, she'd pick up take-out.
The three little pigs would have had a different outcome as well. Each of the pigs would have an ADT Home Security System. "Tell me where the intruder is now. He's by your front door? And you say he's huffing and puffing? And he has terrible breath? OK, don't hang up the phone."
Hansel and Gretel wouldn't lose their way in the woods; they'd have a GPS with audio navigation. "In 20 feet, turn right. Turn right. Recalculating."
Romeo and Juliet would skip the lengthy soliloquies; they would text.
Juliet: Romeo, O Romeo, where art thou?
Romeo: At the pub. U?
Cinderella would save the prince days searching the kingdom for the foot that would fit the glass slipper. She would whisper her name to him and then scream "Facebook me!" as she ran from the dance floor. And when her coach turned back into a pumpkin she wouldn't panic; she'd have OnStar, the vehicle safety, navigation and communication system. "Stay calm. Help is on the way. And where is it you last saw the slipper?"
There are very few areas of life technology hasn't revolutionized. Unfortunately, painting an old picket fence isn't one of them.
If you follow me on Twitter and get a tweet, bring a brush, we have plenty of paint.
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